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Open cockpit Bell 47B


PREFACE


As I researched through the depths of information related to this story, I kept        triggered each milestone. Bell Helicopter’s commitment to the production of safe and reliable aircraft supports the freedoms we all share each day. For that, I say, “Thank 


To those that endured the countless hours of questions (and more questions) as I gathered the facts for this story, thank you for all the time you spent with me. I’m sure that some will disagree with some of the timelines or events; I can only say that any errors are not intentional. Memories fade, and in some instances I was forced to choose between two recollections of the same event. If I chose incorrectly, please excuse the error.


I want to thank Bell CEO John Garrison for providing an open door to me for this story. Additionally, my gratitude also goes out to members of Bell’s Military Business Unit, especially Mike Miller, Scott Clifton,


36 August 2015


Hank Perry (retired), and Andy Woodward. They provided tremendous insight and knowledge of their company’s military history. Finally, thanks to my fellow members of Twirly Birds: the organization of pioneering helicopter and other vertical   in this story’s early events.


TYPE CERTIFICATE 1


If you are a helicopter pilot trained        a Bell Helicopter. No other helicopter manufacturer played such a crucial, in- depth role in training military helicopter pilots. For nearly 70 years, Bell Helicopter (formerly Bell Aircraft Company) has                  of the U.S. Armed Forces uses a Bell helicopter as their primary helicopter- training platform.


In March 1946, the Bell Helicopter Model 47A was awarded Helicopter        


Aeronautics Administration (CAA). In        military sale to the U.S. Army occurred. In early 1947, military aviation was divided between the Army Air Forces (air assets over land) and the Navy (air assets from aircraft carriers). A total of 28 helicopters (10 HTL-1s, three YR-13As, and 15 YR- 13s) were delivered that year between the two services. The 15 YR-13s were sent to San Marcos, Texas, where all military helicopter pilots were trained. Here’s a look at the history of helicopter training for each branch of service.


ARMY


By the end of World War II, the U.S. Army Air Forces Flying Training Command (originally located in Seymour, Indiana, in June 1944, and then moved to Chanute, Illinois, in December of that year) had trained a total of 93 helicopter pilots. In 1945, the Army and the Army Air Corps (eventually known as the Army Air Forces) reached a tentative agreement to allow a limited number of Army pilots to be trained as helicopter pilots, and moved


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